January 17, 2013

Tour Stop Review + Giveaway: There Is No Light In Darkness by Claire Contreras

Series: Darkness Series 1
Format: Digital (from Claire Contreras)
Release Date: January 10, 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tour Host: My Secret Romance Book Reviews
A past hidden in darkness. Her present cloaked in secrets. The future holds the only truth that cannot be escaped.
After the mysterious and violent death of her parents, Blake Brennan finds comfort with an unconventional family. As the dramatic loss of her parents continues to haunt her—and hinders her from reciprocating love that others give freely—Blake embarks on a harrowing journey in search for the truth.
Living in a constant state of fear and need for control, vivid nightmares reveal details that lead to perilous situations. The past begins to collide with the present, and Blake must decide if the truth is worth losing the ones she loves.

Can love conquer all as her past comes to light? Or will Blake realize that there is no light in darkness?

Book contains: Explicit language & sexual content

“When are you going to forget about that? I made a mistake. I was hurt. Can you stop rehashing that? I’m sorry. I’ll be sorry for the rest of my life.”

I turned on my heels and went back to my bed. Before I sat down, I heard a thump behind me. My heart started beating rapidly, and I looked back startled, not knowing what to expect. Cole was on his knees. When I turned my body, he hugged my lower half and crushed his head against my abdomen.

“What the hell are you doing?” I asked while I tried to pry his arms off of me.

“Please forgive me, Blake. Please. I swear it only happened that one time. Then at the mall she kind of—”

“Kind of what?” I interrupted. “Kind of plunged her tongue into your mouth without you noticing?”

He groaned and held on tighter. “Blake, please. I was desperate for you. That was the first time I was going to see you after a while, and the last time I’d seen you, you killed me for the second time. I’m sorry if I made bad calls, but I was so fucking lonely and depressed and sick without you,” he pleaded.
I sighed. “It’s fine, Cole. I forgive you. Please get off of me. You’re still sleeping on the floor though.”
“Blake?” he whispered later when I thought he was asleep.


“I love you more than you’ll ever know,” he said hoarsely.

I felt tears sting my eyes. “Go to sleep, Cole.”

THERE IS NO LIGHT IN DARKNESS is Claire Contreras' debut novel and it can't get stronger than this. The first book in her Darkness series is an amalgam of New Adult angsty, passionate romance and the full-on mystery/thriller of a romantic suspense. I was hooked on Blake's story from that dark and tragic prologue to that hair splitting end what had my heart tubthumping. 

I will not get into the details because it will spoil the suspenseful story CContreras created but as a brief summation, Blake Brennan is a twenty-one year old law student in Chicago who can't escape her nightmarish past literally. Her subconscious refuses to forget, causing her to have nightmares and paranoia so Blake took it upon herself to dig deep and find out who killed her parents and why they took her that night and left her to live with her Aunt Shelley. When Blake was fourteen, her Aunt died and Blake became part of the system ending up at foster care. She got lucky because her foster mother, Maggie, was great and Blake went along well with Maggie's other foster kids which eventually became her bestfriends. This is where she met Cole Murphy, fellow foster kid and Blake's first love. Through the years they shared a passionate on-off relationship that the passing years weren't able to temper. As Blake investigates her past she soon discovers that her connection to Cole is more than coincidence and everything that had happened so far after that fateful night was carefully planned and executed by someone and now it's come to a head and Blake won't stop until she gets to the root of it all. 

So that's the 411 but my summation attempt obviously has holes that I can't fill without revealing too much. I'll instead make up for it by talking about Blake and Cole. Blake is a likeable character, she's troubled, headstrong and very tenacious. Her past is intriguing because we're as clueless about it as she is so it certainly felt like I was there, investigating with her. As for Cole, this boy is a scene stealer! My cougar claws were out for this hot piece of meat! Not only is he BEYOND gorgeous but his attitude, personality, loyalty to Blake and undying love for her coupled with his mad skills in the sack makes for a great, drool-worthy package. Like I said, their relationship has all the classic  qualities of a New Adult relationship so I'm pretty sure a lot of you will like, if not LOVE, THERE IS NO LIGHT IN DARKNESS.

The mystery is... well, still a mystery. There are some things that I found "convenient" like clues hidden in plain sight, Blake's spotty recollection of the past and yet she has this laser-like intuition as far as associating some pieces of her present with what happened in the past and stuff like that. Blake stumbled upon a great revelation that concerns Cole and Cole's reaction was a little strange. Like if I grew up thinking that I was alone and suddenly I found out I have a family somewhere and I'm like a stone's throw away from meeting them and piecing together my past, I would jump at the chance! Well Cole was a little too nonchalant about the whole thing. Overall it was OK but I can't say that it was nail-biting, clearly CContreras needs to watch or read some Gillian Flynn for  tips and inspiration.

So there you have it folks. THERE IS NO LIGHT IN DARKNESS is a fine story and a great debut, it has the markings of being a great series once the little wrinkles in the mystery is ironed out. The suspense aspect might be spotty but CContreras still had my heart beating out of my chest on some places. The romance on the other hand was solid! Cole and Blake are designed to make us readers feel giddy and relive that all consuming first-love we had. I am looking forward to having my questions answered regarding who is behind all this crap fest in Blake's life when book 2, Darkness Before Dawn, comes out sometime this year.

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs.

Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.

She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter.

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones.

She is currently working on the second novel in her series.

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Win a digital copy of There's No Light In Darkness
courtesy of Claire Contreras

Good luck!
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The grand prize is a $25.00 gift card to the winner’s choice of online book retailer


  1. New adult phase in one word hmmm? How about: Discovery

    Excellent review and heartrending excerpt, I enjoyed it and will keep an eye out for this one.

  2. Blake's story sounds great, and I am glad that you enjoyed
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  3. An angsty, romantic, thriller, suspense. Sounds great!
    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  4. Thanks for stopping by ladies!

  5. This sounds awesome ~ I like anything that has a healthy dose of angst and New Adult is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Great review :)

  6. Great review hun. You had me laughing at the "My cougar claws were out for this hot piece of meat!"

    1. Well that's the best I can do, humor myself as I get older... and still single :S

  7. NA: Unique...

    The guy's sleeping on the floor... Hmm... Does he deserve it? I think so... And I thought Blake was a male... =)

    Love your review by the way... Especially during Cole's parts...

    Thanks for this chance!!!

  8. One word is so hard! I can do two words - Guilty Pleasure!


  9. Demon. What can I say, its what I am. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Temptation


  11. Angsty.

    nayjf (at)yahoo (dot) com


  12. Brilliant! Thanks for the giveaway! This looks like a good read!

  13. Love all your answers, I think some of those are applicable to mine. My New Adult phase -->> REBEL


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